Peripheral companies are now branching into other types of devices which, although not directly related with the stock currently on offer, they still might attract consumers alike. This was the case for Kingston, well known for USBs and such, who decided to branch out into the headset division. After an incredibly successful first try with their HyperX Cloud I, Kingston are at it again with a revamped and possibly improved headset, dubbed appropriately Cloud II. Can it beat its daddy?
The first thing which strikes about the Cloud II upon opening the big box is the red shell packaging of the headset itself, which is slick and sexy, just like the headset. The design of the headset itself is compact and elegant at the same time, similar to the first iteration of Kingston’s headset. The colour scheme may be a little different but the appearance of the headset is still there, which is a good thing since the Cloud I is very good looking. The only thing which looks different from the outside is the ear coushins which seem to have been buffed a little, probably for comfort reasons, and a slightly bigger headband, but otherwise it’s almost practically the same thing.
The headset’s impressions do not stop at the looks however, since sound will matter a lot here. And the sound definitely is there. Like its predecessor, it has really good sound and lets you listen to things which you never listened to before from TV or Surround Audio, especially when playing games. Comparing it with the former iteration, Cloud II has the edge since it makes users hear even more sounds from the Cloud I, which was pretty impressive in this aspect too. The Cloud II’s sound is also clearer, so you can hear things which the Cloud I detected too, but in a better quality, even though there is not a huge gap. Music is also heard better than ever before, thanks to improvements in bass and sound quality, which means hooking it up to PC or Phone or Tablet or whatever you use to listen to tunes will deliver an awesome experience all around, without the need of investing in some 4K or Full HD television with subwoofers and surrounds and whatnot.
Speaking of surround, the Cloud II differs greatly from its predecessor because of an inclusion of an integrated remote soundcard. Unfortunately it is only useable with anything carrying a USB port, but still there are a variety of devices which now have replaced the 3.5mm jack with the handy port, or better yet having both input methods. Basically, the soundcard has to be hooked up from the 3.5mm jack of the Cloud II, and then connecting the USB to the aforementioned compatible device. Apart from serving as an extension, by quite the distance also, the sound is improved by just that much to take it to the next level. The 7.1 surround sound can be toggled on and off, but realistically there is no reason you’d want to turn it off ever again, due to its sharper sound. Maybe when watching horror movies alone at night, like some people I know do, to avoid having wet or brown pants in the morning. Another handy feature of the soundcard remote is the ability to increase mic volume and sound volume. SEPARATELY. This does not seem like an amazing addition but in fact it actually is, at least for people who use their mic quite a lot. Many times, increasing the sound of both headset and microphone will result in you speaking louder of shouting, while adjusting each separately avoids that risk and also lets you tinker with the volumes, so for example elevating mic volume while your parents are asleep will let you speak in a more quiet voice.
Speaking of the microphone, the audio output which exits the mic is as good as the first edition of the headset. There is not really a good way to test out a microphone, unless you record stuff with both and compare the difference, but this was not possible due to two main reasons; the first reason being that I hate listening to my voice so listening twice would be a total no-no. The second reason is that the Cloud I’s mic stopped working around six months in. I will not go ahead and proclaim it is entirely the mic’s poor design’s fault, because a mic of that quality cannot be as fragile as glass, but it may be that it was a faulty iteration or maybe damaged in transport. It could have been my fault as well, for example dropping it but do not remember, but I doubt that is the case since I do take care of my electronics. For example this mic is still working and even though it has not been with me a total of six months, I am pretty optimistic this mic will make it much much longer. Or until the Cloud III comes out, which I am sure will beat the odds yet again. Unfortunately, the mic’s noise cancelling is quite poor, since even though I was pretty far off my fan it was still audible from the microphone, resulting in several whines from my party chat members.
Speaking of the design of the headset, as mentioned before, this headset is almost identical to the Cloud I at first glance, but it does have minor improvements which make it better in all departments. First off, the bigger ear coushins provide much more ear comfort than the Cloud I. It is arguable how much a headset is comfortable given the different ear sizes and also what people find comfortable, which is incredibly subjective, but while the Cloud I was fine, it was not made for long, intense playing sessions. I may have said that in that review but after a couple more sessions of Destiny with my Invision mates Josh and Laurence, which I salute, it would became pretty uncomfortable, and removing the headset for a while would be the best solution. So far, the Cloud II has never given me any displeasures for wearing it at length, with its amazing ear pads serving as the only coushining my ears need for hours upon hours. The Cloud I also featured some ear sweat, which would make you rather uncomfortable too, but the second version of the Cloud seems to have resolved that problem too. I haven’t removed this headset for any reason except when I am leaving the room, which says something.
Overall, Kingston has once again defied all odds and created an amazing piece of gear which anyone looking for a headset should think about. Heck, it is even to consider for Cloud I owners, who can prove themselves the excellent quality of the first headset, but even more! Admittedly it is not on the cheap side of the market but you definitely get your money’s worth here, since the equipment will last for years, unless your mic dies. Just saying. Kingston are definitely killing the market with their headsets, and releasing just a short while after each other may have signified a lack of improvements but make no mistake, the Cloud II is the definitive headset to own.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.